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MLB Trade Deadline 2019: Final thoughts and rumors

We are just a day away from the dust settling on the first Actual Trade Deadline

MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at Pittsburgh Pirates Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

“It’s not actually the trade deadline until the waiver deadline” has billowed every baseball poindexter trying to sound smart, and thankfully, mercifully, that dumb ‘ole fun fact can die a resounding death. The idea of waiver trades past the deadline has basically existed as long as the modern sport has, and it is nice to see it finally end.

For once, we will have an Actual Trade Deadline, meaning that once July 31st passes, no player, even one who passes through waivers, can be dealt. This means that everything a team wants to do, even if it’s just for that pinch runner they need in September, needs to be done right now.

Benefits are obvious for the sport, which has generated... less than stellar results from a free agency that, compared to a sport like the NBA, looks like the equivalent of watching paint dry, and the paint somehow takes months to dry. Now, you can already tell the buzz that’s been generated by a deadline that has already been shaken by Met-mania.

“They’ve hijacked the market”

These were words said by Jeff Passan regarding the New York Mets, who have somehow turned themselves into the nexus of the baseball world while projecting to win 81 games. Neither buyer nor seller, they have essentially captured the market of players teams would like to have in a market not exactly filled with them. With the acquisition of Marcus Stroman, they have additional leverage to revoke any offer from buyers that don’t fit their characteristics of a solid deal.

For Edwin Díaz, that looks to be Bobby Dalbec or Triston Casas according to MLB Trade Rumors, and it was already a Double-A former UPenn catcher for Jason Vargas. For Noah Syndergaard, that looks something like a return of a “top 30 prospect and a couple of other solid pieces,” per Marc Carig. That doesn’t even include Zack Wheeler, who is equally likely to be extended or traded, or Todd Frazier, who is also likely gone, to add to their odd source of riches given their actual mediocrity.

From Bumgarner to Pomeranz

With the Giants surging and with a fan base that has loyalty to their stars, the front office is likely deciding to pass on dealing Madison Bumgarner in favor of players like Will Smith, Tony Watson, or more recently, Drew Pomeranz. Pomeranz recently moved to the pen, making him an attractive option for teams in contention that want a cheap alternative to one of their better relievers if they buy the recent results.

Braves in the outfield

Nick Markakis could be out for the rest of the season, potentially, with a fractured wrist, and the Braves could very well be shopping for outfield help. The scarcity of rumors means there aren’t actually any sources into who they’re targeting, so I can’t really clarify further!!!!!!!

The Grand Lux

Prices for relievers can get mighty high this time of year, so Filipe Vázquez is no different. The Pirates are doing their due diligence in holding the Dodgers over the coals (as they should, LA does not want to lose yet another World Series), and they are currently trying to extract Gavin Lux, one of the best prospects in baseball. Do they do it? I honestly doubt it even though the steep price can be justified in instances like Gleyber Torres for Aroldis Chapman, but winning the whole thing becomes even more high-stakes.

Again, the rumors have been otherwise so vague that they can only be summed up as such:

  • Shane Greene has been drawing interest from a number of teams, including the Athletics
  • The Yankees find themselves holding the hot potato with Marcus Stroman off the board, but they have signaled they would be willing to move Miguel Andujar for an arm.
  • The Orioles find themselves with a couple of good pieces to deal in Trey Mancini and Jonathan Villar, and the latter is being discussed in a deal with the Cubs.

It’s odd that there are so few rumors given the circumstances that there’s only one deadline, but only time (one day to be precise) will determine if that’s actually a mechanism by which teams keep things under wraps if there is going to be a flurry of activity. I’m very, very much hoping for that.